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How to raise a "real world' Primal toddler?

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  • How to raise a "real world' Primal toddler?

    I have a 2-year-old. I would like to ever so slowly transition her to primal-style eating as I have done for myself and my partner. This is my concern: When she's, say, seven, and she's in kindergarden and there's a pizza day and she eats the pizza. When she's over at a friends' house at age four and they feed her some PB&J on whole wheat bread. I'm concerned that her body will react and she'll end up uncomfortable/in pain/with diarrhea...I'm worried that I'll be 'healthy-ing' her out of a normal childhood.

    I know how agonizing it is for me when I eat some bread now (before, when I didn't know the dangers of bread, it just contributed to my arthritis and to the normal, icky state of my digestion, but didn't throw me into any sort of sudden pain or agony) but NOW if I eat it I instantly need the bathroom and feel like crap for days. I guess that's because i got it out of my system.

    I want my daughter to reap all the BENEFITS of primal by getting her to a place where she's eating that way 99% of the time, but I worry that at this young age it will lead her to difficulties. Does this make sense?

    So how do I take all the garbage out of my daughter's system while still keeping her body in a place where she CAN eat at a friends' house, enjoy pizza day, eat birthday cake, have ice cream in the summer, etc.??? Would leaving SOME non-primal stuff in her diet do the trick (like giving her bread one meal per day type thing) or would that defeat the whole purpose of going primal for her?

    Thanks for your input.

  • #2
    Hmm... it's tough.

    I don't have kids, yet. I do plan on having them and I'm pretty sure I won't be allowing pizza and cake. That's just my preference. On one hand maybe it is "mean" to have them grow up unable to eat certain foods, but I believe in the long run, and for their health, it's the better choice. Again, my preference.

    I suppose if you wanted your child able to eat pizza and cake, it's something you'll have to allow somewhat regularly, which in my opinion does sorta defeat the purpose of going primal. It's something you either do or don't do, are or aren't.

    Just my 2 cents.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Diana Renata View Post
      Hmm... it's tough.

      I don't have kids, yet. I do plan on having them and I'm pretty sure I won't be allowing pizza and cake. That's just my preference. On one hand maybe it is "mean" to have them grow up unable to eat certain foods, but I believe in the long run, and for their health, it's the better choice. Again, my preference.

      I suppose if you wanted your child able to eat pizza and cake, it's something you'll have to allow somewhat regularly, which in my opinion does sorta defeat the purpose of going primal. It's something you either do or don't do, are or aren't.

      Just my 2 cents.
      I know. It's hard. I could NEVER tell my daughter that, for example, at her friend's birthday party she can't eat the cake. or that while all of her friends eat pizza on the once-a-month pizza day she has to eat her chicken and veggies. I had a (extremely minor) weight problem growing up and my dad used to try to restrict what I ate and all it did was make me feel like an outsider....especially since looking back at pictures I wasn't actally overweight, he was just overcompensating for the fact that HE was overweight...but anyways, that's separate baggage for a different forum haha! I guess I'm just saying that I want my daughter to be able to do the stuff the other kids do but I want her health to be top notch too. Maybe it's impossible??

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      • #4
        My kids are allergic to gluten, blue food dye, caramel color, chocolate, and xylitol. Pretty much any "kid" food isnot an option for them. We bring our own treats to bday parties, although many of our friends are gluten intolerant and I'll let a piece of gluten free cake slide as long as their is no artificial color. We homeschool and food allergies are one of the many reasons. I really don't givea poo about a "normal" childhood, everywhere I go I see overweight, stressed, manic children who ate nutritionally deprived and medicated. Normal shmormal.

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        • #5
          And really other kids don't notice and my kids don't either. They understand that certain foods harm their bodies and would rather not feel like crap from a sandwich.

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          • #6
            I just listened to an hour long interview from Kurt Harris where he basically said that those who start eating paleo-e or grain free really do not typically have a real physical reaction from eating grains again, that it is in his scientific opinion mostly mental. So maybe as long as you don't tell her it will be an issue, maybe it never will if its only a now-and-then sort of thing

            But if you are worried about chronic issues from eating grains constantly, I guess you just have to make bacon and eggs sound more appetizing than toast

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            • #7
              I am in a similar spot with a two-year old and an eight-year old. For my eight-year old's sake I try not make it a big deal. I was too obsessed with food and dieting my whole life and I don't want to pass that on to her. We changed our diet months ago and we did it all at once. When we are at home we eat Primal when we go to a friend's house my kids eat what is served, usually pizza, etc. At first my kids always opted for the junk, but now I notice that they prefer the fresher foods if they are available. My daughter's (8 yo) palate is definitely changing. She will still eat a slice of pizza or cake at a party, but has not had any adverse reactions to it. However, over the past few months we have discovered that milk makes her very nauseous. She avoids milk with a passion because she doesn't like being sick at her stomach. She chooses water. So, I allow my kids to eat the pizza or the cake on occasion and so far I see no adverse reaction to it. And my daughter is willing to go without if it's something that really bothers her.

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              • #8
                Kids are pretty resilient. What you do for your child day in and day out is by far the most important. I made the mistake when my daughter was young in the 70s, and I was then in a big vegetarian phase, of not allowing the occasional "kid" food (like a Happy Meal), and it took until the 2001 when my twin granddaughters were born for her to begin to want healthy foods. Obviously, if children have health issues, most people are respectful of the child's dietary needs, but that still requires a considerable amount of parental monitoring. If your precious one is healthy, doesn't have any allergies, etc, the occasional PBJ or Oreo is not going to have much of an impact. As someone once said: It's not what you do 15 days of the year, but what you do the other 350.
                This time, like all times, is a very good one, if we but know what to do with it. Ralph Waldo Emerson

                Any given day you are surrounded by 10,000 idiots.
                Lao Tsu, founder of Taoism

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                • #9
                  I have a 2 1/2 year old boy and he really likes brocoli and meat, he eats mostly primal but once in a while we allow the "other" stuff.

                  Many times he will opt for the healthy (for us) food at kids party.

                  On another note, Some people look offended when we tell then "no" if they ask us if its ok to give him sweets...

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                  • #10
                    Implement the 80-20 rule. Primal 80% of the time, 20% at parties
                    --Trish (Bork)
                    TROPICAL TRADITIONS REFERRAL # 7625207
                    http://pregnantdiabetic.blogspot.com
                    FOOD PORN BLOG! http://theprimaljunkfoodie.blogspot.com

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                    • #11
                      There's a huge spectrum of reaction to foods, and what you decide to do will probably depend on how your child reacts to "party" foods or "typical kid" foods. My child is pretty primal at home - the only thing non-primal left in the house is some rice crackers - but I don't stress about what she eats at friends' houses or at grandma's, because she really doesn't react very much. I can tell when she's had not enough protein or too much sugar or white flour, because she's incredibly grouchy, but that's the extent of it. No skin reactions, no bowel troubles, nothing physiological. However, if she got the squits from wheat like I do, I'd be a lot more vigilant about what she ate out of the house. So, observe your child carefully, and help her avoid foods if they really bother her. If they don't, then don't stress about it.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by jesslikesstuff View Post
                        I guess I'm just saying that I want my daughter to be able to do the stuff the other kids do...
                        Why? She is not deprived because she's fed well. She is not being deprived. Please remember this, because if you believe that she's being deprived, then she will believe it. However, if you believe that she's LUCKY to have a mother who cares so much that's she's willing to break from the norm and the easy to nourish a little body, then maybe your little one will enjoy the foods that are healthy. Yes, maybe right now she likes the crap food (idk your situation), but after it's all gone, and she has heard a firm, confident, loving "no, we don't eat that honey" enough times, she'll get it. my kids are 4 and 7, and while we maintain gluten free at home (and mostly grain free- they have maybe 2-3 servings of grain/week) i don't make a big deal of it if my husband takes them out for pizza once a month or something like that. IF one of them had a bad reaction to a specific food, i would remind him of it just before he ate the food, and later (lovingly and sympathetically) if he chose to eat the food and was suffering the consequences. kids will get it eventually.

                        Originally posted by Melody View Post
                        I really don't givea poo about a "normal" childhood, everywhere I go I see overweight, stressed, manic children who ate nutritionally deprived and medicated. Normal shmormal.
                        +1

                        Originally posted by Melody View Post
                        And really other kids don't notice and my kids don't either. They understand that certain foods harm their bodies and would rather not feel like crap from a sandwich.
                        in my experience, it's all about how the adults feel about the food. if adults act like it's a big deal that jimmy can't eat cake, then jimmy will think it's a big deal and will feel really left out. if jimmy's mom brought some of his favorite primal treat to eat while all the other kids eat cake, and jimmy's mom acts like it's not a big deal, then (the vast majority of the time) he won't see it as a big deal. it's his "normal."

                        good luck. food issues can be really tough sometimes. but i think we adults find it tougher than the kids do. remember, you are NOT depriving her. you are providing her with what her body needs. another way to look at it would be to remember that other children (who eat "normal" food) are being deprived of the nutrients to grow healthy bodies.
                        my primal journal:
                        http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum...Primal-Journal

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                        • #13
                          not all that worried about it, honestly. i have a two year old, he'll be going to waldorf school. it is grain heavy.

                          right now, he has the buns once a week at play group (well, when playgroup is not on holiday). because it's not a severe allergy situation, i don't worry about it that much.

                          most kids here in NZ are on food restrictions. a lot of kiddos under age 5 are completely sugar free, most are gluten free as well. many can't have eggs either, or whatever else. so it's perfectly normal for people here to make stuff that their kids can have and everyone can share, and it's up to mom to police it for their kids.

                          at school, i might have to draw a fair few lines, but you can talk about that as you go forward with the school. food is a part of the curriculum (and no, it's not pizza and cup cakes, but baking bread from scratch, including sour doughs, and growing your own vegetables and making frittatas and stuff). so, we'll just have to see how that rolls out.

                          it's not a big stress for me, honestly. i don't know why.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by nomorefatandfrumpy View Post
                            I am in a similar spot with a two-year old and an eight-year old. For my eight-year old's sake I try not make it a big deal. I was too obsessed with food and dieting my whole life and I don't want to pass that on to her. We changed our diet months ago and we did it all at once. When we are at home we eat Primal when we go to a friend's house my kids eat what is served, usually pizza, etc. At first my kids always opted for the junk, but now I notice that they prefer the fresher foods if they are available.
                            As another person who has dealt with weight issues/eating disorders, this is the attitude I take with my almost-3-year-old as well. At home, I cook primally, and she eats what I cook. However, she attends daycare where food is provided, and I am just thankful that it is fresh, home-cooked food; she eats plenty of grain-based stuff there but they don't serve pizza/chicken nuggets/french fries, etc. When we go to grandma's house she eats what grandma prepares - since this happens only about once a month I don't stress over it.

                            What I feel is most important is giving my kids the right foundation for understanding healthy eating -it's not about totally restricting certain items. If my daughter can grow up understanding that pizza/mcdonalds/etc is JUNK that is best reserved for rare occasions (if at all), then I feel I've done my job well.

                            Considering that our kids do have to be part of the "real world" where they will be faced with making their own decisions about what they put in their mouths, I tend to think that being too restrictive or making certain things "forbidden" will more often than not backfire. The best analogy I can think of is the attitude toward alcohol in the US vs Europe. Everyone knows drinking too much is harmful, but in Europe kids grow up understanding its place. When I traveled around Europe during college and went to bars, the only people I ever saw puking in the streets at closing time were the Americans.

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                            • #15
                              I have been thinking about this a lot. I have an almost 5 year old, 2 year old and a newborn, all eating Primal. We homeschool, so it makes it easier when we are around other kids (because I'm there), but everyone we know eats SAD and that is hard. Really hard.

                              I just cannot bring myself to let my kids eat SAD, even on rare occasions. It is just too hard for me. My first born was so sickly as a child, and I blame his poor health on my terrible diet.

                              I also think sugar - including grains - is the devil, because it destroyed my family. Everyone on my father's side of the family has died from either diabetes or alcoholism, and I know there is a genetic predisposition to these things in my blood line. I do not want my children to have sugar because I am afraid of them becoming addicted to it, like my father did. I just can't do it.

                              I don't eat SAD at all and my children don't want to either. When they are out of my house, they can do what they want, but I will have the peace of mind knowing that I have fed them well and that they know that certain foods can mess you up pretty badly.

                              A LOT of people don't like that I'm so strict (inlaws) but I don't care. My kids know that the foods they eat have the most vitamins and minerals for their growing bodies and that they will help them be strong and smart. They don't want bread or pizza. They want what Mama makes.

                              It's hard living in this world, but it is what it is. I'll keep swimming upstream.

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